Dolphin Trapped in the Gowanus Canal

By Hazel Millard

A dolphin is trapped in the highly contaminated waters of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. It is currently located at the end of Degraw Street. Crowds and news teams from NY1, ABC, and NBC, were spotted along the banks of the canal.

The Gowanus Canal was declared a federal Superfund site in 2010. According to the EPA’s website, “Contaminants include PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics. The contamination poses a threat to the nearby residents who use the canal for fishing and recreation.”

Because of the toxic nature of the canal water, officials have deemed it unsafe for humans to enter to save the trapped marine mammal. According to the Gothamist, the NYPD’s current plan of action is to wait “for the next high tide at 7:10 p.m. to see if the dolphin can free itself, and will standby to assist Riverhead Foundation personnel when and if they decide it may be necessary to enter the water in the morning to aid the dolphin as the tide recedes.”

At 4:00pm, the dolphin appeared to be struggling as a crowd of approximately fifty locals and reporters looked on. The dolphin was bobbing its head in and out of the waters. Every time it submerged, more black mud covered its eyes. It appeared to be twisting below the surface, but the water was so murky that its body was completely obscured.

Officials from the New York State Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, the New York Police Department, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were present, monitoring, as best they could, the trapped dolphin.

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